Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The heartbreak continues

Just a couple of days ago, I wrote about the companion relationship between the Diocese of Lui in Sudan and the Diocese of Missouri. I said that I thought this was the way to go. Which just shows how much I know.

Today's news from the Lambeth Conference is that Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul held a press conference. In it he said, not only that Bishop Gene Robinson should step down for the sake of the church, and that "Asked if he has talked to Robinson, Deng replied, 'I have nothing to say to him.'" But furthermore,
"He also said he cannot participate in the Anglican Communion's Listening Process because homosexuality is not 'approved by the Bible' and 'is not part of my culture, I cannot talk about it.' Deng said there are no gay or lesbian people in Sudan."
(This was reported by Episcopal Life Online, and more specifically by my friend and fellow CDSP alum, Mary Frances Schjonberg.)

Reading this, I zipped on over to "My Manner of Life" , written by Lisa Fox whom I quoted the other day and who chairs the companion diocese committee. It's pretty devastating, in several senses of the word, and I encourage you to pop over there to get Lisa's view on all of this.

My own view is, How can he have visited the Diocese of Missouri, met Lisa, met gay clergy, had members of the diocese come to his diocese, shared and prayed with and gotten to know all these people and not be changed at all? How is that even possible? How can you completely shut yourself off from listening? I simply do not understand, and I cannot imagine the amount of effort it takes to hold yourself with such forced rectitude that you cannot bend no matter what you see or hear or do. It just baffles me.

I continue to realize that I don't understand much at all. Which is not going to stop me from trying. But I begin to wonder if I personally will make any headway at all, or if any headway is even possible.

1 comment:

qoe said...

My own view is that Jesus was teaching us to grow up with regard to being knee-locked into cultural and political thinking that allows double standards. If people across the communion cannot agree on the commandments of Jesus and Rabbi Hillel's gloss on Mosaic Law (possibly before Jesus, Hillel said: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Law; the rest is the explanation; go and learn"), then we are failing in living our faith. I question how it is that priests can rise to the level of bishop without this most basic level of understanding. When our bishops do not live our the basic tenet of our religion, then where does that leave our religion? What example is the example is the general communion receiving? The metamessage is this: Jesus' example does not apply to our culture and politics, therefore, we don't have to adhere to the commandments Jesus gave us. (!!!!!!!!) So, how do we keep strong in our own faith and practice when we see such examples from the hierarchy above? It is, at the very least, disheartening. At the most, it is liable to drive good people away from the faith. Somewhere in the middle, we see our religions (any of them!) serve only as non-national political bodies, whose purpose is to garner power and influence over large numbers of people. Makes me want to head for the hills and become a hermitess!